FASCINATING NEOLOGISM OF THE WEEK
Speculation as to who will take over the part of Doctor Who from the outgoing Jodie Whittaker was finally ended last weekend with the announcement of the casting of 29-year-old Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa, star of Netflix’s comedy Sex Education. Mr Gatwa, though raised in Dunfermline, was born in Priti Patel’s favourite holiday destination, Rwanda.
While my fellow Doctor Who fans and I have spent the last few days correcting tweets about “The first black Doctor” (Jo Martin turned up a couple of seasons ago playing a mysterious, possibly non-canonical incarnation known as the “Fugitive Doctor”), Mr Gatwa’s appointment has drawn the inevitable reaction from the inevitable quarters. In particular, in the Sunday Telegraph, Michael Hogan opined that the casting showed that the BBC had “given up on appealing to legacy Doctor Who fans.”
LEGACY Doctor Who fans? Well, it’s certainly a usage of the word “legacy” I’ve never encountered before, but I can see it has great potential as a new euphemism. Perhaps henceforth we can talk about American law enforcement’s problem with legacy police officers, discuss legacy films and TV shows like Birth of a Nation and Mind Your Language, or look back on how the apartheid regime in South Africa was “a bit legacy”.
GASLIGHTING OF THE WEEK, PART ONE
The Conservative media complex, who, having spent the run-up to the local elections explaining how, in the incredibly unlikely event of the Tories losing 400 council seats, it would be a crushing blow to the party and almost certainly force Boris Johnson’s resignation, then greeted the actual result (in which the Tories lost nearly 500 seats) as a humiliating disappointment for Labour and the beginning of a revival in Conservative fortunes.
Not only that, but Big Boris has raised the chocolate ration from 10 grams to 20 grams a week, and we have always been at war with Eastasia.
GASLIGHTING OF THE WEEK, PART TWO
The Conservative media complex, who are determined to convince first the Durham constabulary and then the population at large that Keir Starmer getting the curries in for campaign staff who stayed late at the office was a heinous offence, beside which the trifling matter of Boris Johnson having apparently turned Number 10 into a booze-fuelled frat house for the whole of lockdown and beyond pales into barely visible insignificance.
They are no doubt emboldened in this by the willing self-delusion of the many pundits suggesting that if Sir Keir finds himself being fined for the curry incident, he should immediately resign because then “Boris will have no choice but to resign as well”. One can only admire these commentators’ optimism and faith in human nature, and also their remarkable articulateness and keyboard skills given that they have all evidently been in a coma since 2003.
HYPOCRISY OF THE WEEK, PART ONE
The United States Supreme Court, who, upon the leak of their apparent decision to overturn Roe v Wade and thus allow states to outlaw abortion (despite the three Trump-appointed justices having pledged during their confirmation hearings not to do this), furiously announced an inquiry into how the opinion was made public. Thus proving once again that the only commandments anyone really lives by are the 11th and 12th: Thou shalt not get caught, and Thou shalt not snitch.
HYPOCRISY OF THE WEEK, PART TWO
The United States Supreme Court, who, back in 2014, struck down a Massachusetts law ensuring exclusion zones around abortion clinics to stop protesters harassing staff and patients; this the court ruled, was an unconstitutional violation of the right to free speech.
This week the court, fearing public outrage at its leaked abortion ruling, ordered the installation of an eight-foot steel security fence all around the building.
HYPOCRISY OF THE WEEK, PART THREE
Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court, who, reacting to the outcry over their leaked abortion ruling, said “We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want.”
Perhaps he should explain this noble principle to his wife Ginni, who, it has emerged, deluged president Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows with text messages ahead of the January 6 2021 insurrection, demanding he do “anything he could” to overturn the result of the election.
POEM OF THE WEEK
When we voted for Brexit
It was our fondest wish
One day the Japanese would sell us
We got our food from Europe
It was easy and delish
But now we’re going begging
For radioactive fish.
We can’t pay for our electric
The future’s cold and stark
Just eat some Fukushima fish
And you’ll glow in the dark.
Coming soon to your fishmonger
Completely safe (safe-ish)
With two heads for the price of one
Eat radioactive fish!